Published on May 09, 2021

AHMEDABAD: Valentina Christian, 54, is a diligent head nurse at the 1200-bed Covid facility at Civil Hospital. Managing nursing resources amid a flood of patients and rushing to the aid of critical patients is all part of the job daily. But as her shift ends, her heart fills with joy of going back to her precious child and dread what if she carries possible infection to her toddler.

Valentina and her husband Sobers, an employee with Western Railways, were blessed with a daughter on January 30 last year, less than three months before first Covid-19 was admitted in Civil Hospital. The couple has named her Erica.

“I became a mother at a very late age and hence I’m very protective of Erica. I was very afraid of going near her earlier, lest she gets infected because of me,” Valentina pours her heart out. “Thus, it’s a strict no-no for all to go closer to her without proper sanitization. I hold myself back when she comes running towards me nowadays.”

But duty comes first. “Many of my fellow nurses fell sick due to the pandemic, and I voluntarily did their shifts. By God’s grace, we are safe so far. I am happy that I am contributing to the healthcare machinery that helps save many lives.” says the nurse.

As the world marks Mother’s Day on May 8, hundreds of healthcare workers – ranging from doctors to nurses and paramedical to supporting staff – have successfully learnt to walk the tightrope between duty and motherhood.

Similarly, Dr Shruti Sangani, 36, an assistant professor in the emergency medicine department, handles the triage at 1200-bed Covid hospital. “I have been in Covid duty for the past one year. At that time, my son Dhruvansh was barely a year old. It seems like a fast-forward that he’s two. My husband is an orthopaedic surgeon. He along with my mother take care of him when I’m attending to Covid patients,” she says.

Dr Sangani who contracted Covid during Diwali with a high viral load had to get hospitalized. “The past few days were really a blur with unprecedented rush – but I forget everything when I reach home in the evening and Dhruvansh excitedly tells me that he has learnt a new rhyme. The mother in me gets energized to do my best to help as many patients during the pandemic. Like all other health workers, I cannot stay back.”

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